Davis Lab

Evolution of Deep-Sea Fishes

Research in the lab  focuses on the evolution of fishes that inhabit the deep sea, as the extreme habitats of this environment have produced fascinating evolutionary events among the 4000 - 6000 species of marine fishes that have invaded this realm (e.g., telescopic eyes, bioluminescence, hermaphroditism). We use phylogenetic hypotheses as frameworks to investigate a breadth of evolutionary questions related to organismal diversity and diversification. Our work focuses on exploring a number of evolutionary topics related to fishes that inhabit the deep sea, including; estimating divergence times, temporal changes in diversification rates, character evolution, correlations between speciation rates and evolutionary adaptations, ecological habitat shifts, and biogeography.

Matthew P. Davis
Assistant Professor of Biology

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Education

2009: Ph.D. Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (Honors)
University of Kansas, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Lawerence, KS.
Advisor: Ed Wiley
Dissertation: Integrating Molecular Evolution and Morphology to Study the Evolutionary History of Lizardfishes and Their Allies

2004: B.S. Biology (Honors)
Regis University, Denver, CO.
Advisor: Mike Ghedotti
Honors Thesis: Phylogenetic Analysis of Subgenus Fundulus based on Morphological Evidence and A Morphological Study of the Urogenital Sheath in Fundulid Fishes

Professional Experience

2014 - Present
Assistant Professor of Biology, St. Cloud State University, St. Cloud, MN.

2014 - Present
Adjunct Research Associate, University of KansasBiodiversity Institute, Lawrence, KS.

2013 - 2014
Research Associate, University of KansasBiodiversity Institute, Lawrence, KS.

2011 - 2013
Postdoctoral Research Scientist, The Field MuseumDepartment of Zoology, Chicago, IL. Supervisor: Leo Smith

2010 - 2011
Postdoctoral Research Scientist, Louisiana State UniversityMuseum of Natural Science, Baton Rouge, LA. Supervisor: Prosanta Chakrabarty

Editorial and Journal Service 

2014 - Present
Editorial Board, Copeia

2012 - Present
Marine and Fossil Fishes Editor, Zootaxa.

Grants, Awards, and Endowments

2016
Davis, M.P. (PI). Evolutionary Relationships of the Lizardfishes (Aulopiformes: Aulopoidei). Faculty Research Grant – $9,969.

2015
Davis, M.P. (PI). Evolutionary Relationships of the Flagfin Fishes (Aulopiformes: Aulopoidei) and the Description of a New Flagfin from Deep-Water Reefs of the Galapagos Islands. Saint Cloud State University New Researcher Award – $3,992.

2014
Lerner-Gray Grant. Evolutionary Relationships of the Barracudinas. – $2,500. American Museum of Natural History.

2013
NSF DEB-1258141. Davis, M.P. (PI), Sparks, J.S. (PI), and Smith, Wm.L. (Co-PI). Collaborative Research: Diversification in the Deep-Sea and the Evolution of Fangs, Bioluminescence, Hermaphroditism, and Marine Habitat Transitions. – $425,000 to Davis and Smith (St. Cloud State University and University of Kansas), $150,000 to Sparks (American Museum of Natural History). 

2012
Women's Board Field Dreams Program. Genomic Analysis of Reproductive Self-Fertilization in the Deep Sea. – $2,000. The Field Museum.

2010
Lerner-Gray Grant. Evolutionary Relationships of the Lizardfishes (Aulopiformes: Synodontoidei). – $1,500. American Museum of Natural History.

2009
NSF DEB-0910081. Davis, M.P. DISSERTATION RESEARCH: Evolutionary Relationships of Lizardfishes and their Allies (Euteleostei: Aulopiformes) and the Evolution of Deep Sea Adaptations. – $13,180.

Panorama Society Small Grant. – $500. University of Kansas Biodiversity Institute.

2008 - 2001
Deep Fin Student Exchange Program. – $2,000
Panorama Society Small Grant. – $750. University of Kansas Biodiversity Institute.
Panorama Society Small Grant. – $775. University of Kansas Biodiversity Institute.
Panorama Society Small Grant. – $1,200. University of Kansas Biodiversity Institute.
SPARC Student Research Grant. – $485. Regis University
SPARC Student Research Grant. – $500. Regis University
SPARC Student Research Grant. – $250. Regis University

Recent Presentations

2016
Davis, M.P. Evolutionary Relationships and Patterns of Diversification of Lizardfishes and their Allies (Teleostei: Aulopiformes). Joint Meeting of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, New Orleans, Louisiana, July 2016. Oral Presentation.

Olson, E.E., and Davis, M.P. The Evolution of Fangs Across Marine Lizardfishes (Teleostei: Aulopiformes). Joint Meeting of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, New Orleans, Louisiana, July 2016. Poster Presentation. Presenter Olson is a graduate student (SCSU) mentored by Davis, M.P.

Smith, W.L., Stern, J.H., Girard, M.G., and Davis, M.P. Evolution of venomous cartilaginous and ray-finned fishes. Joint Meeting of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, New Orleans, Louisiana, July 2016. Oral Presentation.

Ghedotti, M.J., and Davis, M.P. Phylogenetic relationships of three fossil Fundulus species and the timing of divergence within the North American topminnows (Teleostei: Fundulidae). Joint Meeting of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, New Orleans, Louisiana, July 2016. Poster Presentation.

Ghedotti, M.J., Barton, R.W., Gruber, J., Muñoz, J., and Davis, M.P. Morphology of the glowbelly (Acropoma) bioluminescent organ (Teleostei: Acropomatidae). Asian Society of Ichthyologists, Taiwan, May 2016. Poster Presentation.

2015
Davis, M.P. Evolutionary Relationships of the Deep-Sea Pearleyes (Aulopiformes: Scopelarchidae) and a New Genus of Pearleye from Antarctic Waters. Joint Meeting of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, Reno, Nevada, July 2015. Oral Presentation. 

Martin, R.P., and Davis, M.P. Evolution of Jaw Shape and Length Variation in Deep-Sea Lanternfishes (Teleostei: Myctophiformes). Joint Meeting of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, Reno, Nevada, July 2015. Poster Presentation. Storer Award for Best Student Poster Ichthyology. Presenter Martin is a graduate student (SCSU) mentored by Davis, M.P.

Barton, R.W., Davis, M.P., Smith, W.L., Munoz, J., and Ghedotti, M.J. Morphology and Evolution of Bioluminescent Organs in the Glow Bellies and Sweepers (Acropomatidae and Pempheridae). Joint Meeting of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, Reno, Nevada, July 2015. Poster Presentation.

2014
Burgess, C., Smith, W.L., and Davis, M.P. Tracing the Past: Investigating Current and Ancestral Body Shape Evolution in Deep-Sea Dragonfishes (Stomiiformes). SACNAS National Conference, Los Angeles, California, October 2014. Poster Presentation.  

Davis, M.P. Evolution and Diversification of the Lizardfishes (Teleostei: Aulopiformes). American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, Chattanooga, Tennessee, July 2014.

Ghedotti, M.J., Barton, R.W., and Davis, M.P. Morphology of the Ventral Luminescent Organ of the Japanese Barracudina (Lestrolepis japonica) with Comments on the Evolution of Bioluminescence within the Barracudinas (Teleostei: Aulopiformes). American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, Chattanooga, Tennessee, July 2014.

2013
Davis, M.P., and Smith, W.L. The Evolution and Invasion of Marine Lineages into Deep-Sea Environments. American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, Albuquerque, New Mexico, July 2013.

2012
Davis, M.P., and Smith, W.L. The Evolution of Bioluminescence and its Impact on Diversification in Deep-Sea Lineages. American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists (World Herpetology Congress), Vancouver, British Columbia, August 2012.

Ghedotti, M.J., and Davis, M.P.. Cephalic Sensory Variation Within the Deep-Sea Ipnopid Fishes (Teleostei: Aulopiformes): A Preliminary Survey. American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists (World Herpetology Congress), Vancouver, British Columbia, August 2012.

Chakrabarty, P., Davis, M.P., and Sparks, J.S. The first record of a trans-oceanic sister-group relationship between obligate vertebrate troglobites. Evolution, Ottawa, Ontario, July 2012.


Rene P. Martin
M.S. Student

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Education

2014: B.S. Ecology and Field Biology
St. Cloud State University, Department of Biological Sciences, St. Cloud, MN.

Professional Experience

2015 - 2016
Teaching Assistant, Organismal Diversity. St. Cloud State University, Department of Biological Sciences, St. Cloud, MN.
Graduate Research Assistant, Identification of Larval Fishes of North America, St. Cloud State University, St. Cloud, MN.

2014
Fisheries Internship, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Glenwood, MN.
Ecology and Field Biology Tutor, St. Cloud State University, Department of Biological Sciences, St. Cloud, MN.
Teaching Assistant, Ornithology. St. Cloud State University, Department of Biological Sciences, St. Cloud, MN.

2013
Teaching Assistant, Zoology. St. Cloud State University, Department of Biological Sciences, St. Cloud, MN.

Grants, Awards, and Endowments

2016
Edward C. Raney Grant. –$800. American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists
Student Research Award. – $726. St. Cloud State University
Jerry Wolff Biology Graduate Student Enrichment Fund. – $650. St. Cloud State University.
George W. Friedrich Wildlife Protection Fund. – $1,000. St. Cloud State University
Charles Rehwaldt Endowment for the Biological Sciences. – $300. St. Cloud State University
Denise M. McGuire Student Research Award. – $200. St. Cloud State University.
Outstanding Graduate Student Achievement Award. St. Cloud State University

2015
Lerner-Gray Marine Research Grant. – $2,500. American Museum of Natural History.
Systematic Biology Travel Grant – $500. Society for Systematic Biology Fellowship.
JMIH Travel Grant – $600. American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists.
Storer Award (Best Student Poster: Ichthyology) – $300. American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists.
Jerry Wolff Biology Graduate Student Enrichment Fund. – $1,800. St. Cloud State University.
Denise M. McGuire Student Research Award. – $200. St. Cloud State University.
Student Research Colloquium. – $675. St. Cloud State University.

2014
Harold & Gladys Hopkins Endowed Scholarship. – $1000. St. Cloud State University.
Al Grewe Memorial Scholarship. – $750. St. Cloud State University.
St. Cloud State Scholarship. – $600. St. Cloud State University.

2013
Harold & Gladys Hopkins Endowed Scholarship. – $1000. St. Cloud State University.

Publications

01.    Martin, R.P., and Davis, M.P. (2016). Patterns of Phenotypic Variation in the Mouth Size of Lanternfishes (Teleostei: Myctophiformes)Copeia. 104(4):795-807.

RECENT PRESENTATIONS

2016
Martin, R.P. Morphological Variance in the Dentition on the Oral Jaws in Lanternfishes (Teleostei: Myctophiformes). Joint Meeting of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, New Orleans, Louisiana, July 2016. Oral Presentation.

Martin, R.P. Evolution of Jaw Length and Dentition Variation in Deep-sea Lanternfishes (Teleostei: Myctophiformes). Student Research Colloquium, St. Cloud State University, St. Cloud, MN, April 2016. Oral Presentation.

Martin, R.P. Evolution of Jaw Length and Evidence of Niche Differentiation in Lanternfishes (Teleostei: Myctophiformes). Seminar Series, St. Cloud State University, St. Cloud, Minnesota, January 2016. Oral Presentation.

2015
Martin, R.P., & Davis, M.P. Evolution of Jaw Shape and Length Variation in Deep-sea Lanternfishes (Teleostei: Myctophiformes). Joint Meeting of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, Reno, Nevada, July 2015. Poster Presentation. Storer Award for Best Student Poster Ichthyology.

Martin, R.P., & Davis, M.P. Evolution of Jaws and Ecological Niche Specialization in Deep-sea Lanternfishes. Student Research Colloquium, St. Cloud State University, St. Cloud, MN, April 2015. Poster Presentation.


Emily E. Olson
M.S. STUDENT

EDUCATIon

2015: B.E.S. Biology
St. Cloud State University, Department of Biological Sciences, St. Cloud, MN.

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

2016
Graduate Assistant, St. Cloud State University, American Indian Center, St. Cloud, MN.
Undergraduate Research Assistant, Identification of Fishes of North America, Department of Biology, St. Cloud State University, St. Cloud, MN.

Fisheries Management Intern. Department of Natural Resources. Fisheries Division Shakopee.

2015
Graduate Assistant, St. Cloud State University, American Indian Center, St. Cloud, MN.
Undergraduate Research Assistant, Identification of Fishes of North America, Department of Biology, St. Cloud State University, St. Cloud, MN.

GRANTS, AWARDS, AND ENDOWMENTS

2016
Student Research Award. – $726. St. Cloud State University
Holmgren Scholarship for Native Americans. – $1,000. St. Cloud State University
Denise M. McGuire Student Research Award. – $200. St. Cloud State University

2014
Duane Dunkley Memorial Scholarship. – $1,000. St. Cloud State University

RECENT PRESENTATIONS

2016
Olson, E.E., and Davis, M.P. The Evolution of Fangs Across Marine Lizardfishes (Teleostei: Aulopiformes). Joint Meeting of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, New Orleans, Louisiana, July 2016. Poster Presentation. 

Olson, E.E., & Davis, M.P. Evolution of Fangs across Marine Lizardfishes (Teleostei: Aulopiformes). Student Research Colloquium, St. Cloud State University, St. Cloud, MN, April 2016. Poster Presentation.

St. Cloud State University, 720 4th Ave South, Wick Science Building, St. Cloud, MN 56301. © MP Davis 2016